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Lisa Flanders

Lisa Flanders Adult Graduate Helps Others Find Work at Employment NetWork

Lisa Flanders, Computerized Business Technology, Class of: 2000
Lisa Flanders, of Elyria, had spent more than 20 years working on assembly lines in factories around Lorain County.

But thanks to the Lorain County JVS Adult Career Center, Lisa Flanders now has more than just a job. She has a career and a future.

Lisa began her career at the GM Fisher Guide plant in Elyria, working there for over 11 years. After the plant closed in 1989 she worked at various manufacturers in the area often obtaining the short-term positions through temporary employment agencies.

One temp position placed her in a production position at Express Seed in Oberlin, which eventually led to a position in the accounting office at that same business.

"I liked the challenge of working in an office. I liked feeling valuable. I immediately realized, however, that if I wanted to continue to grow and advance as an office professional in the administrative field, I would need to learn to use a computer and develop my skills."

So Flanders enrolled in the Computerized Business Technology Program at the JVS Adult Career Center in September, 1999.

"The program was wonderful," she said. "It taught me everything I needed to know and more. I had the best teachers - very encouraging and very knowledgeable. They know how to make an adult who is returning to the classroom after a long absence feel comfortable."

Flanders also discovered the meaning of "never say never."

"I always said I would NEVER need to learn anything about a computer since I was always going to work in a factory," she joked.

Upon completing the 900-hour course she received her certificate as well as new skills, a new career, a strong appreciation for computers and the Internet, and a different outlook for the future

Flanders was hired by The Employment network, in Elyria, to work in the JobLink area. The Employment netWork is a partnership of over 25 public and not-for-profit agencies that help people looking for employment or training assistance. "We open doors for people to use a variety of free services and resources, like assessment tools, career counseling, and employment search assistance," she explained.

Her responsibilities as Service Delivery Coordinator in JobLink included helping individuals develop resumes and cover letters, and advising people on how to best present their skills and qualifications.

"Obviously I did learn how not to be afraid of a computer," Flanders chuckled. "I've even learned some troubleshooting skills."

Her outstanding job performance in JobLink didn't go unnoticed. Flanders was then promoted to Administrative Assistant to the Director of the Workforce Institute of Lorain County.

"I've always been a confident person. The training I received at the JVS and this job have made me very aware of how capable I am," she added.

She also believes her factory background helps her relate to the customers of The Employment netWork.

"I can be genuinely encouraging when I work with someone who has just lost a job. I know first-hand what it feels like when your plant closes and you don't feel important anymore."

Her success following her JVS training has led to another decision: "I'm going back to school this year for an associate degree in business administration. A bachelor's degree isn't out of the question!"

"Five years ago I might have thought about working toward a degree, but I wasn't ready. I believe this is my time."

"My husband is very proud of me. He says the cost of the JVS program was the best money we've ever spent!"

Her new career helps her encourage others to utilize all available resources, including the outstanding training she received at the Adult Career Center at the Lorain County JVS.

"It's amazing how my life has turned out," Flanders said.
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